This week, I am continuing my multi-part series about my personal struggles as a pre-medicine student. I want to thank everyone who has taken time to read through my story. Talking about my story is hard, but I want to share it in case there’s other people out there going through the same thing. We are not alone.
Dealing with Trauma
*This is a very sensitive section. I want to apologize in advance for any scattered thoughts, as these are my raw thoughts and emotions. Trigger warning: I will mention depression and suicidal thoughts*
It took me a really long time to come to terms with what happened night. I experienced trauma, to say the least. It has left me so scarred that I cannot write or say what happened.
I felt like I couldn’t talk to anyone about it. I didn’t have anyone to turn to. I was also ashamed and it cause me too much pain to even think about it. I was depressed. I felt sad all the time. I was having violent flashbacks at night. I was having panic attacks daily. I didn’t know what to do.
I was in a very dark place Spring semester. I had no motivation to continue. I was missing deadlines. I attended class (for the most part) but never paid attention. I wasn’t myself. My grades were suffering. Severely. I didn’t know how to raise my grades and, honestly, I didn’t care. I borrowed lab reports from my friends (by borrowed I mean using their lab report but changing their name and some words to make it look as if I wrote it). I attempted cheating on exams (idk how people do it. I get too paranoid). I wasn’t motivated enough to study. I just didn’t want to be there. I wanted to destroy myself. I wanted to die. The reason why I’m still alive is because I was too scared to actually kill myself. Every time I fell asleep, I would hope I wouldn’t wake up in the morning.
Sometimes I scared myself with my thoughts. I didn’t want to feel like this. I knew I had to get better. I wanted to get better. I just didn’t know how to escape from this darkness.
One of my bio professors noticed my behavior. He came up to me and asked me why I wasn’t turning in any of my work. My eyes filled with tears. Before him, no one had ever bothered to ask if I was okay. I didn’t even get to answer his question. He just looked at me and said, “I don’t need to know your story. I just know you’re going through something really dark and you need help.” He told me to see the school’s counselors asap.
My professor gave me the answer I needed. I contacted the counselling department and started therapy immediately. It was hard opening up about what happened, but I slowly did it. I learned how to name my emotions and how to cope with them. I was able to chisel down the boulder I was carrying on my chest into a tiny pebble. I was given a new sense of hope. I wasn’t perfect, but I was slowly going back to normal. My panic attacks were less frequent and the death thoughts had disappeared.
All it took was one person to care.
If you are experiencing darkness, don’t be afraid to reach out. It’s okay to ask for help. Most schools have counselling, and it’s included in your tuition so make sure to take advantage of that! There’s anonymous hotlines that are also available 24/7. Just please don’t let the darkness win. Even if you can’t see it now, you are made for amazing things.
To Be Continued
National Suicide Prevention Line: 1-800-273-8255 (they also have an online chat)
Crisis Text Line: Text HOME to 741741 (U.S. only)